Barbour Repeats Health-Care Scares | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Barbour Repeats Health-Care Scares

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Gov. Haley Barbour said he was fine with missing a critical budget deadline if it meant reducing the state's spending.

Federal health-care reform will burden Mississippi with higher Medicaid costs, Gov. Haley Barbour told business leaders at a summit yesterday. Barbour claimed that the legislation would cost the state $230 million annually in additional Medicaid expenses, a charge he has made previously, without regard to the law's benefits.

Yesterday's summit, organized by the Mississippi Economic Council, brought together business owners to assess the impact of the health-care legislation President Barack Obama signed into law March 23.

In 2014, the legislation will expand Medicaid eligibility to include individuals and families making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level--roughly $14,404 for individuals and $29,326 for a family of four, at current levels. Barbour warned that covering the newly eligible Medicaid recipients would cost the $230 million per year, and up to $440 million per year in the law's tenth year.

"For us a $230 million a year cost is an automatic tax increase," Barbour said.

Barbour's statement glossed over the fact that the federal government will cover 100 percent of the additional Medicaid costs for the law's first three years. Over time that federal contribution will step down to a permanent 90 percent by 2020.

Barbour's assertion also ignored the costs of inaction. A 2009 report by the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Institute found that without health-care reform, state Medicaid expenses would rise between 60.7 percent and 106 percent by 2019.

Barbour is a plaintiff in a Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health-care reform bill, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. During his remarks yesterday, the governor said that while he was confident that health-care reform was unconstitutional, he realized that court challenges to the law would likely prove unsuccessful.

"I do want to tell you, 'Don't kid yourselves,'" Barbour said. "Federal action over the last 200-some years has resulted in most legal decisions being pushed in favor of the federal government."

Read next week's JFP for a complete factcheck of Barbour's speech.

Previous Comments

ID
159133
Comment

Well he did leave out that the federal gov't was going to pay the additional cost of the $230 million, but he's not wrong about it going to have to paid for with a tax increase, is he? How is the federal government going to pay the 100% for the first the 3yrs and the 90% starting in 2020? Don't you think it's going to be through tax increases? Where else they gonna get the money, from the "Money Fairy"?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-08-05T16:11:20-06:00
ID
159173
Comment

As a small business owner, it infuriates me that Barbour and other ideologues insist on scaring small businesses over health-care reform by selectively leaving out pertinent facts. It's a disservice to small businesses. It's politics or nothing for him, it seems. And that's sad.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-06T10:34:47-06:00
ID
159175
Comment

No, Bubba. Providing medical coverage does not automatically mean tax hikes, and certainly not across-the-board tax hikes. First of all, the federal government already pays states a lot of money to cover emergency medical treatment for uninsured patients. With insurance, some of that money will shift to cover preventative care, which is far cheaper than emergency care for ignored day-to-day conditions. Also, we're on schedule to pull troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011 ... might save a few dollars there. And then there's the distinct possibility that at some point this country could end the massive tax-breaks and subsidies for the wealthy. Bottom line: This country has a ton of options for saving money and increasing revenue before raising taxes on the vast majority of Americans.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2010-08-06T11:39:19-06:00
ID
159176
Comment

Ronni- When has this country ever done anything to save money and increase revenues? Never. Want to make a friendly wager on whether or not by 2014 they will raise taxes on the majority of Americans?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-08-06T12:34:52-06:00
ID
159177
Comment

Bubba, I'm not going to debate over generalizations and "ever/never" arguments. It takes about a half a second to research top tax rates for the past 90+ years, for example, which have gone up, down and sideways. Ditto on the federal budget income and outlays.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2010-08-06T14:14:35-06:00
ID
159178
Comment

Oh, and Bubba: Why on earth would you want to place a bet where if you win, you lose?

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2010-08-06T14:22:08-06:00
ID
159179
Comment

Ronni- Been there done that, long time ago. Would have been hell being in that 91% tax bracket in 1954, wouldn't it? But we weren't talking about tax brackets or upper tax bracket which is going from 35% to 40% in 2011 if I remember correctly. I will ask again do you want to make a friendly wager on whether or not by 2014 they will raise taxes on the majority of Americans?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-08-06T14:32:32-06:00
ID
159180
Comment

I don't think Ronni is the "wagering" type, Bubba. She takes these issues a bit more seriously than that, I'd guess.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-06T15:10:42-06:00
ID
159184
Comment

Donna knows me too well. I'm not interested in making a bet. Bubba, you asserted that the government "never" saved money or increased revenues. Actually, the government has done both of those things plenty of times as reflected in tax rates and budgets among many other markers.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2010-08-06T20:00:36-06:00

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